Great news for sport fans in UK! The BBC will continue to be the free-to-air broadcaster of the Olympics until 2024.
BBC had already secured TV and media rights for the 2016, 2018 and 2020, but the innovative partnership with Discovery Communications, the owner of Eurosport, ensures that the Winter Olympic Games 2022 in Beijing and 2024 remains accesible to an as wide audience as possible.
The deal means that BBC will sub-license (from eurosport) exclusive free-to-air TV and non-exclusive radio rights. In turn Eurosport has won some exclusive TV rights in the UK to the 2018 and 2020 Olympics.
2012 Olympics in numbers
This deal is a part of a 30-year partnership between the two global media organisations. According to BBC.co.uk, The London 2012 Olympic Games was watched on the BBC by more than 50 million people in the UK, and more than 7 million people used a BBC official website every day.
With more than 100 million video requests and 2 million app downloads, BBC has digitalized Olympics like never before.
Tony Hall, Director–General of the BBC, said in his statement: “The BBC prides itself on bringing the biggest sporting moments to the public. For many, the BBC has been their stadium for Olympic coverage. It is an event that unites the nation like no other. I’m delighted that through our new partnership with Discovery, the BBC will continue to carry the torch for great sporting coverage right through to the 2024 Games. “While the BBC has had to take some tough financial decisions, this partnership underlines our commitment to making world-class sport available to all.”
This agreement is the first sub-licensing deal accross the Europe after a huge agreement by Discovery and Internation Olympic Comimittee (IOC) last June.
The agreement covers the XXIII. Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018 and the Games of the XXXII Olympia in Tokyo in 2020, as well as the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024, the host cities of which have yet to be elected. The deal is effective for most of Europe´s countries from 2018 except for the Russian Federation, France and the UK.
Discovery and Eurosport also confirmed developing of a new Olympic TV Channel across Europe. With an average of 10 channels in each market, Discovery and Eurosport will deliver coverage across more screens to over 700 million people across Europe.
David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications, said in his statement: “Discovery is a passionate and committed partner of the Olympic Movement. Today’s agreement is a win for UK sports fans and marks an exciting new chapter in Discovery and the BBC’s partnership on major sporting events. For 30 years, our two organisations have chartered new frontiers with co-production partnerships in factual and natural history programming. Now we join together once again to bring the most compelling stories of human ambition, sacrifice and achievement to people across the UK.”
The BBC will be the exclusive UK broadcaster of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which will run from 5th to 21st August 2016.